Who Really Are the Savages? : The Pre-King Shaka Bantu/Zulu Means of War

Whenever most people hear the name Zulu they would generally recall the 1986 South K-ShakaAfrican Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television miniseries Shaka Zulu written by Joshua Sinclair based on his 1985 novel of the same name. In said series the famous South African actor Henry Cele portrayed the military genius Zulu king Shaka kaSenzangakhona (c. 1787 – c. 24 September 1828) also known as Shaka Zulu.

Nevertheless I want to look at a period prior to Shaka rising to the stature of monarch and his implementation of military reforms and innovations. I want to look at how the Bantu engaged in warfare.[1] According to The Washing Of The Spears: The Rise And Fall Of The Zulu Nation by Donald R. Morris at that time the:

“military institutions these people had developed were simple but served their needs. A mild and almost continual warfare was the norm. It was, in the beginning, a casual warfare with limited objectives. Gratuitously aggressive clans were rare, and the rights to grazing lands the major source of tension. A clan defended itself against encroachments on its territory, and it forced weaker neighbors to vacate adjacent territory, but the defeated clan moved and the tension vanished. With the casus belli settled, there were no hard feelings or bitter blood feuds to pass on to subsequent generations” (Morris; 37).

From the offset Morris uses language not generally found when speaking of martial conflict. He employs terms such as “simple”, “mild” and he mentions how the combatting parties had “limited objectives”. He also remarks how once the conflict had come to a close which generally was over real-estate the matter would be concluded. Morris continues on to explain how these battles would be carried out between the contentious clans.

“Most clan conflicts were settled in a frequently prearranged battle. The two clans met at a convenient location, often facing each other over the banks of a small stream, and the women and children assembled on a nearby hillock to shout encouragement and watch the fun. A long preliminary period was devoted to shouted boasts and taunts, and individual warriors ran forward to giya-howling self-praises and dealing death to imaginary foes. The two mobs then edged toward each other, hurling assegais as the range closed. Eventually one side or the other would sense a moral ascendancy and hazard a charge, which usually sufficed to send the enemy bolting. The defeated clan lost cattle and the land, and captives had to be ransomed, but crippling damage was rare and extermination unheard of” (Ibid.; 38).

Morris points to other phenomena that is uncharacteristic of war. He states that the clans met a convenient local with their families in tow. They spent a large amount of time boasting and taunting each other. Then after they hurled spears at each other one group would charge the other sending that clan to flight ending the conflict with no blood being spilled. Now what warzone that you know of was welcoming enough for whole families to venture to in order to spectate? Morris the author referred to it as “fun”. To this writer it appears that the Zulu/Bantu conception of war resembled a contemporary “step-shows” found on the campuses of historically-black fraternities and sororities in the US than any concept of warfare that we are commonly familiar with.[2]

Now before moving forward with my overall point one must also recognize that there was a dark side to the initial Bantu/Zulu style of warfare seen in the worse outcomes of such clashes. When “a clan would be forced off its territory and fail to find new land. It then had little choice but to go marauding, in a desperate attempt to secure a new home by displacing another clan” (Ibid.). If a clan found itself without a said clan would attempt to take over another clan’s territory and if that clan was weak the invading clan would “engage in predawn raids, burning kraals, driving off cattle, and slaughtering its victims as they scrambled, one by one, out of their burning huts” (Ibid.). While not justifying this gruesome act it must be recognized that these occurrences was rare and the people behaved in this fashion at the point of sheer despondency. With that being said I will now proceed to my main point.

zulu-warriersI find it interesting that the dominant or White society has exhausted much time and energy depicting Black people in general as “savages”, “monsters” that are “naturally violent” but for centuries these African peoples had conducted themselves in a relatively humanized fashion prior to the exaltation of King Shaka when conflict arose between two clans or ethnic groups. Also the only reason why their view of war was modified by King Shaka was so that they could defend themselves from the brutality of the White European colonizers that was encroaching on their territories. So in essence the Bantu whose name in its various forms denotes the “people” or “humans” had to give up their humanity to make an attempt to defend themselves from those that claimed to be “civilized”.

 

 

 

 

Works Referenced:

Donald R. Morris. The Washing of the Spears: A History of the Rise of the Zulu Nation under Shaka and Its Fall in the Zulu War of 1879. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998.

 

 

 

___________________________________________________

[1] Bantu is used as a general description for the 300–600 ethnic groups in Africa who speak Bantu languages and Zulu being one of them.

[2] Note should be taken that “stepping” finds it origin in military exhibition and close-order drills as well as African foot dancing.

 

 

Who Really Are the Savages? : The Pre-King Shaka Bantu/Zulu Means of War

White Criminal “Sweethearts”: White Folks and the Media’s Double Standard

kenbonclydeWhites and the media that caters to them are so racially biased it is truly sickening. At this time people should be aware of the young White crime duo the media has taken a liking to. The introductory paragraph of one article states “Two teenage Kentucky sweethearts suspected in a crime spree of stolen vehicles and pilfered checks across the U.S. South have been taken into custody in Florida, authorities said Sunday.”

These two White folks went about committing a series of crimes and White people are acting like they are just two “sweethearts” that made a mistake. But when Black people and especially our kids are involved in something or “suspected” of being involved in something they are “thugs”, “savages” and “violent animals”.

The White male here named Dalton Hayes  who is 18 years of age but they refer to him as a “teenager” but when Black people was saying Mike Brown was a kid  or teenager at 18 in reply Whites screamed that he was a “grown man”. We know in the case of Mike Brown it was to make his murder appear less tragic.

When 12 year old Tamir Rice was gunned down by Cleveland police officers White folks frantically looked at the background of the child so they could once again lay the blame on the victim and his family. We heard how the parents were the blame and they didn’t raise their child properly. They went and searched out the criminal record of the parents so they could say that the child’s death was inevitable because of his background. Yet no one is saying anything regarding these two parents. What type of parents will allow their 13 year old daughter to date an 18 year old pedophile? How come no one is looking at the parents’ potential criminal records and devising a story regarding how their children was on an inevitable course towards unlawful activity?

Going back to the fact that the female was 13 years old I mentioned that Dalton Hayes was a pedophile and he is in fact one in the context of the law. White folks always talking about pedophiles and how they want to do this and that to them but I do not see anyone saying anything about doing something to Hayes. Where is all the talk of how he is deserving of death. Dalton Hayes also violated The Mann Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 2421 et seq.), also known as the White Slave Traffic Act. This act is a:

“federal statute making it a crime to transport a woman across state lines for “immoral” purposes. The Mann Act was intended to prevent the movement of prostitutes from one state to another or in and out of the country in the so-called “white slave” trade. However, it also applies to a male taking his under-age girlfriend to a love-nest in a neighboring state, or a female transporting an underage boy across the state line for such purposes. Maximum term is five years in a federal prison.”

Another thing that needs addressing is White folks love to romanticize criminality when it 031-bonnie-and-clyde-theredlistinvolves them. The Kentucky duo has been affectionately dubbed the Kentucky ‘Bonnie and Clyde‘ teens. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow another White criminal duo from the 1930s that’s been claimed to be possibly “the most famous and most romanticized criminals in American history”. They are viewed by Whites as being “two young Texans whose . . . crime spree forever imprinted them upon the national consciousness. Their names have become synonymous with an image of Depression-era chic, a world where women chomped cigars and brandished automatic rifles, men robbed banks and drove away in squealing automobiles, and life was lived fast”.

There is no way in hell Blacks would ever be viewed in this fashion and nor should they be. Genuine illegal activity should be perceived negatively regardless of who it is yet this goes to show the racially based double standards of the dominant society.

-A.O.

 

White Criminal “Sweethearts”: White Folks and the Media’s Double Standard

#WhitelivesMatterMore: Media Bias

It boggles my mind how Black people act as if they are shocked when the media blatantly show their true colors. On January 6, 2015 an explosive device was detonated at the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP at 603 S. El Paso St. just before 11 a.m. The media hardly covered it and the FBI barely put any effort towards investigating the matter concluding with laughable results.  In north eastern Nigeria in and around the town of Baga just recently it was reported that the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram murdered a large number of the civilian population. This was hardly covered in the media. The reason being that the media focused its collective attention at a display of White Power and its allies.

All of this result in Black people getting upset and bombarding social media with complaints, whines and threats as usual. But nothing ever changes, the media never changes and Black people never change. The reason why media never changes and ignores Black people in general unless they are engaged in something negative is because Black people do not have power nor controls the narrative. As it stands right now the majority of the media is in White hands. Whether it’s radio stations, television and cable networks or social media the dominant society owns it. Black folk do not own any media outlets of note and this is damaging to us.

Media is a powerful tool for instilling value in something. It can make something valuable worthless or something worthless valuable. The elder Malcolm X once said:

malcomx

This is why the dominant society can convince the world including other Black people the world over that we do not matter. The only lives that matter is White. Now if Black people really want to change things they first need to quit the whining and crying, the social media activism and the marching up and down the street begging the dominant society to value them and start to build. That is physically consolidate our monies towards building an economic infrastructure that allows Black people to build and purchase media outlets. Erect our own television and cable networks and companies. Our own radio stations and acquire a piece of the internet for ourselves. Then we can counter the media bias with our own positive Black oriented material. We can show not just the world but ourselves that #BlacklivesMatter.

~A.O.

#WhitelivesMatterMore: Media Bias